February is the shortest month, as we say in our household. Meaning that even if there's still snow on the ground and frost on the car, we have survived the perils of January: frozen fog, being housebound and abandoned by the sun for days at a time, cabin fever. One memorable January we brought home a $1 ping pong set from the store, including one ball, two rather small paddles, and a net that fell over when hit - nonetheless we became completely obsessed with playing ping pong on our kitchen table...that's January.
This winter, I made my own drop spindle from an old faucet handle and a scrap of dowel, and tried spinning silk fibers into thread. John re-arranged his sitting-room to accommodate a model train table and the budding universe that goes along with that - we had lovely and intricate discussions about what kind of landscape we wanted to create - very relaxing to sit in that room and dream of an abandoned salt mine and a herd of burros gone wild, where the borax mine would go and if we could involve a small traveling circus...as the snow fell and Pablo the parrot made little snoring sounds from his playroom...But it's always a challenging month. When we heard the first blackbirds a few days ago, I was amazed, as I always am by how early they come back and start singing and bring the promise of spring.
So it's a perfect time to focus on what makes happiness - especially when it's sorely needed! So here's my list of ten points of happiness:
*Johnny Jack publishing his book of poetry, The Days of Wine and Roses.
*Moon gazing with Hippo and Golden Bear from the porch.
*The adventure of discovering friends in blog-world and bringing the Animals along with me (or are they bringing me along?)
*The mystery of John, as this unfolds, veils itself, gleams in unexpected places, returns to the familiar, over and over.
*Drawing with Amanda Every Otter.
*The pleasure of having friends, old and new, help out in hard times.
*The advent of Rosie and the chinchilla room.
*Praying in my oratory and making things for it.
*Writing my new book, Magdala Red.
*Learning how to knit with my new friend Heather.